Homebrewing as a way to save money

I brew at about 10-12 bucks per 5 gal. Buy bulk, stop using kits. Also wine is a great savings, very easy to make quality equal to Carlo Rossi. Using only juice runs about 20 bucks/5 gal


Most of this has already been said, but:-Base malts are usually the most expensive component of a beer. A 50-lb bag of Two-Row is perhaps 50-75% cheaper than by-the-pound bags.-Hops is probably the second most expensive component. Agreed on the bulk hops as well–focus on higher alpha acids, and more versatility. I just got a 1-lb bag of Chinook, which can be used for bittering, flavor, and aroma, for $16.99, whereas most hops by-the-ounce run $1.99-$2.49, so there’s another 50%-75% savings.-Yeast washing is probably something I would not do because the cost of time far exceeds the financial savings of about $3.00 per batch. Using dry yeast is something I do to save time and money, since many dry yeasts don’t require starters, and they typically boast double the population as the liquid yeasts.-Oh, and I use a GE Smart Water filter as opposed to buying 5-gallon jugs of water. This was an investment which paid for itself within a few brews.People have stated that sticking to sessionable beers is a way to save. You get a savings per ounce, to be sure, but higher gravity beers tend to be enjoyed in lower quantities, so I don’t think this is a strong-enough argument.


I got into home brewing five years ago because the beer I liked was costing $8-$11 per six pack. I did extract for six batches, then switched to all grain. Bought recipes from Brewmaster’s Warehouse, so there was no extra grains laying around. Started buying hops in bulk at the same time. Eventually got a grain crusher and now participate in group buys for both grain and hops. I have a very basic set up – 10 gallon round cooler mash tun, turkey fryer, 10 gallon and 20 gallon stock pots, two burners, home made immersion chiller, about six or seven ale pails. I bottle everything. I also try to plan brews so that I can harvest yeast directly from the fermentor for the next batch (try to brew every 2-4 weeks). Even though dry yeast is cheap (I use US-05 95% of the time), there is no reason to toss it all out after one batch. The real secret for me is that I usually get money for birthdays and Christmas and use this for brewing equipment and ingredients. Or I let people / my kids know exactly what I want as a gift. I think I haven’t spent more than $400 of “my” money on brewing in the five years I have been doing it. So basically every beer I drink is a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Birthday to me”. Would I like better / more fancy equipment? Sure – who doesn’t. Am I happy keeping it simple and ghetto – sure am. I have had plenty of people tell me my beer is better than commercial / craft, and better than other brewers with fancy equipment. (Not that I haven’t had a few “meh” beers and dumpers along the way.) As you read over and over on HBT, it really comes down to good practices, and good fermentation temps.Now, “Cheers” and let’s all RDWHAHB!

08-04-2014, 10:29 PM

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Originally Posted by Braufessor
****** Take up a hobby like golf or boating for a while…… then quit and go back to brewing…… brewing will seem like it is free compared to most other hobbies at that point

Especially when you consider that you’d then have to BUY beer while golfing and boating!

Meh…so many threads over the years on “costs” and time, etc.The wife and I work and make a pretty decent income. We have no credit card debt, a decent savings, stock, etc. We are not upper income people but have some wiggle room. We don’t really set a budget so brewing for me is the hobby in itself. I like brewing. The amazing side effect is drinkable beer. But 4-5 hours of me brewing is like meditation. I don’t breakdown the costs/value. I love this hobby, I don’t go overboard with spending on it. No one complains.The wife and I love craft beer. She really likes some expensive beer, so I look at it from a different perspective. The total costs of my batch is usually less than any trip to the store we make.


When getting into any hobby I’ve found that if your goal is to “save money”, you’re on a fools errand.Hobbies are for enjoyment, learning or expanding skills, relaxation, camaraderie w/ others having similar interests, ultimately personal pleasure in what you learn and produce.Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew


Good tips already stated. I don’t think that anyone has said to discover maltier, more yeast driven styles. Yeast can be reused, or even frozen for storage. Malty beers tend to have less expensive hops. BTW, growing hops is a great investment for a brewer.I love Blondes, Dubbels, Pilsners, Milds…all are pretty cheap to brew.

__________________Give a man a beer, waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, and waste a lifetime! Bill Owen quoteJoin the Beacon Point (Aurora, CO) Brewclub on Facebook- casual, fun brewing, drinking, socializing, visiting the great breweries / brewpubs in CO!


Originally Posted by fartinmartin
The more I drink, the more I save ! ?

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I brew relatively simple beers BIAB style on my kitchen stovetop. I don’t think I’ve purchased any new gear in over a year. At this point I think my actual savings (even taking increased drinking into account) have covered the cost of my equipment.My last batch was 5 gallons of Edwort’s Haus Pale Ale. The ingredients cost $26.73 CDN. Other consumables like cleaning/sanitizing agents and electricity may have drove the cost a little closer to $30CDN (I pay a flat rate for water). A 12 pack of Molson Canadian goes for $24.50 and that’s as cheap as beer gets here. Never mind imported stuff stuff like Young’s Double Chocolate Stout or Fuller’s London Porter at $4 plus a bottle.This hobby is actually saving me a little money and I am drinking more (and usually better) beer than I would be otherwise. That’s the main reason I started homebrewing and while it’s not the only reason anymore, it still figures big into it.

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